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Friday, August 13, 2010

So, you want to open an etsy shop?


Having an etsy shop isn't all it is cracked up to be, but lots of stay at home moms are jumping on the work at home wagon.  For those of you looking to cast your net into the etsy ocean, here are some tips and tricks of the trade:

  • Don't get your hopes set on the perfect name before you make sure it is available.
  • In regards to pricing, wholesale is typically 50% of retail, which is also what I need to get out of each piece to make it profitable. So, this is why I price my items as I do. You may not be interested in doing wholesale right away, but make sure you can afford to, should someone ask. You also don't want to underprice yourself. If your items are too inexpensive, people will think they are poorly made.
  • Don't get your hopes up that this will be the solution to financial difficulties. Very few etsy sellers actually "make it" in terms of having a profitable business.
  • You might want to look at other venues like zibbet (for instance) that don't have as many shops in your particular category. Just a suggestion. Check out their fee structure first, though.
  • A stocked shop is a happy shop. Customers like to have plenty to browse through.
  • Fill out your shop policies and your profile. Put a face behind the business.
  • Join a team. Personally, I recommend the OWLs (Off the Wall Ladies).
  • Be active in the forums, but avoid the games in chat (featured seller, or FS, for instance)
  • Set up a twitter account and facebook page and use them, especially the facebook page for your items. Most of my sales have recently come from posting items on facebook. Don't post every new item you put out, but do try to post something at least one a week.
  • Check out the small business laws in your area. I had to have a business license and I have to file a sales and use tax form each month. I also had to register my DBA name. This all cost about $60 initially and $50 each year. If you are selling online to make a profit, it is legally a business, not a hobby.
  • Have fun.  Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither will your shop immediately find success.  Make sure you're doing something you love and allow your enthusiasm to shine through to all potential customers (and all contacts are potential customers).

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